Dustin is a Project Coordinator at a University. Today he explained how his team has succeeded in killing emails within their daily organization thanks to the 'Zen' in Azendoo!
Hi Dustin, can you tell us a bit about your work/program?
I work as the Project Coordinator of a research based psychology lab at the university level.
Those involved in the lab vary from full-time and part-time staff members, graduate students, post-doctoral students, and undergraduate research assistants. The projects that are central to this lab revolve around child and adolescent development in the context of psychopathologies. Therefore we are constantly interacting with community members by email, over the phone and in-person.
Every member of the lab is involved with at least one aspect of this process and in order to keep everything organized and communicate in an efficient manner.
How do you use Azendoo to organise your work?
When our projects began to grow and multiply, we realized that we needed a tool to keep everyone involved on the same page. Whether this was to have a central place to share documents, or to put together appointment times, we needed a program better than sending countless emails back and forth.
Azendoo has been a keystone in the development of our projects. We have been able to seamlessly communicate with everyone as well as the select few within the designated subjects.
We will constantly be assigning tasks to one another to make sure that particular documents have been taken care of, or to remind a team member to finish a project.
The most used feature is the ability to share documents with an entire team/subject. This is very useful because we will constantly be having meetings about articles, and before we would have to send everything via email.
For the most part this would work, but people may have accidentally “lost” (most likely deleted) the document and would have to send another email to find the missing piece. However, with Azendoo (which we have begun calling it “Zen” because it is shorter, and it creates a zen-like atmosphere) one can refer to that subject and not miss anything!
How did you manage getting your team to join the application?
A few members of the lab took to Azendoo very quickly. However, others were very hesitant.
What we then decided to do was hold a workshop to display the ease of use and functionality of Azendoo. Once we started the “roll-out” phase, everyone was well aware of the versatility of Azendoo and it has made communication simpler. As we get more involved in Azendoo, we are constantly finding new ways to integrate it into our workday (and then pass that info along to others).
How has the application changed the way in which you work?
This particular application has revolutionized my work. Before Azendoo, I would be going about my workday when an idea for a project would pop into my head. I would scramble to find a free piece of paper to write that down so I wouldn’t forget. Then, the piece of paper would be placed amongst other pieces of paper.
Eventually, when I had a little “free” time, I would sort through the pile of ideas finding out that either too much time had passed, I had already completed them, or I had no idea what I was referring in the note.
Now with Azendoo, I can create tasks for my future self with accompanying documentation so as to not become confused. I can also include other members on the task to see if they will be able to take on an asset of the project in order to help me out (and keep the project moving!).
What is your favorite feature in the application?
The most appealing feature of Azendoo is the ability to link documents that exist on your hard drive, or through a cloud based storage application (such as Google Docs or Dropbox).
This allows me to assign a task to a member of my team to contact a participant. In order to properly contact a participant, past information becomes relevant. I am able to put all of that information into a single task for them to refer to, and mark it as completed when the task has been finished. That way, I do not need to continue to send emails or find them in the office to ask them.
Another amazing feature within Azendoo is creating Subjects. It has been perfect for our undergraduate research assistants. I have been able to create a subject specifically for them so as to only be able to share the appropriate information with them.
This has been done for multiple projects that we are currently working on, and it is great to be able to target the specific members all at once in a central location.
I think the more and more I think about it, I am unable to find a favorite because I enjoy all that Azendoo does!
What does the future hold for you and Azendoo?
I am currently transitioning into becoming a PhD student and I am going to continue to use Azendoo to manage all my classes and readings. Azendoo could possibly be a great tool for professors to use in their classes.
Who would you recommend the application to?
I would recommend this application to anyone who is in a position that oversees multiple people or projects. This tool is able to make communication seamless and increases productivity. If you have heard, “Oh, I didn’t get that email” too many times, this is the perfect application for you!